There’s no need to explain the deep love many people feel for bacon: it’s one of the most popular breakfast food items in the universe. Unfortunately, it has become a heck of a lot more expensive since the start of the year. According to a report from CNBC, the wholesale cost of bacon is up 20 percent since the start of 2017. If that sounds impressive, consider that the wholesale cost of pork bellies has skyrocketed 71 percent compared to the start of this year. Given how popular an ingredient is in restaurants and homes around the country, this isn’t the best news for consumers who love the crispy, salty meat.
CNBC reports that a spike in costs for pork belly make sense given the time of year: many people are enjoying the summer months by firing up the grill and throwing down slabs of pork or loading up their burgers with bacon. The higher summer-time demand for pork belly and bacon, there’s also a shorter supply of bacon is a bit tighter right now.
In the winter months, demand for these products usually dips, CNBC explains, but this past winter, demand for bacon remained high. Typically, the meats stored for winter are able to provide a sufficient supply while demand stays low and into the summer, which is usually a very low season for pork production. But since people just kept noshing on pork belly through the cold part of the year, meat suppliers are a little short handed now that we’ve hit summer.
Bacon is such an integral part of the menu for fast food and fine dining chains alike, which means kitchens can’t simply snatch bacon from the menu, explains Joe Pawlak, managing principal at Technomic, a market research company. So don’t worry: your bacon isn’t going anywhere. However, restaurants may use bacon a bit more sparingly until supply and demand even out.